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Full text of "Cassandra Letter to GPO in regard to the NAPA Report"

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March 4, 2013 

Ms. Davita Vance-Cooks 
Acting Public Printer of the United States 
United States Government Printing Office 
723 North Capitol Street, N. W. 
Washington, D. C. 20401-0001 

Dear Ms. Vance-Cooks: 

We support the National Academy of Public Administration's (NAPA) conclusion that 
"free access to government information is both an important tenet of a democracy and a 
critical responsibility." We do not believe that NAPA's recommendation # 4, which calls 
for the Government Printing Office (GPO) to consider charging fees for end users of the 
Federal Digital System (FDsys), will foster democracy or the right of all in America to 
access the information produced with their tax dollars. 

The NAPA report "Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America 
Informed in the Digital Age" recognizes the importance of the Federal Depository 
Library Program in providing access to traditional and electronic formats. But its 
suggestion that free access be limited to that provided through the depository libraries 
does not recognize that access to FDsys makes it possible for all libraries to provide 
access. 

The report's assertion that the attempt to collect fees for access to GPO Access (Now 
FDsys) failed because the "technologies of online payments" were inadequate does not 
recognize that the Public Printer and the Joint Committee on Printing agreed that 
providing free access to everyone was the best way to promote democracy and fulfill the 
mandate of Congress to keep the public informed about its government. Charging for 
information and providing the same information for free is not a practical and workable 
business model. 

Charging non-depository library users would impede technical innovation and the re-use 
and re-purposing of government information. It would contradict the policy of providing 
bulk government information for re-use. It would repudiate open government initiatives 
such as doc.house.gov, federalregister.gov, data.gov, and consumer.data.gov. 

We do support NAPA's recommendation that the government should implement a 
government- wide strategy for managing the life cycle of digital government information; 
that GPO should offer to government agencies cost-recovery services for the life cycle 
management of information, including preservation; and that GPO should develop a 
strategic plan for the Federal Depository Library Program that will give libraries the 
flexibility and tools they need to provide tree permanent public access to government 
information in the digital age (P. 3). 



GPO should return to the model of sharing responsibility for preservation and access with 
Federal Depository Libraries. This would allow GPO to charge government agencies for 
information and content management services without having to impose fees on the 
public for use of that information. It would also release GPO from the burden of being 
solely responsible for the preservation of and access to government information. We 
urge that the 200 year old partnership between GPO and the libraries continue into the 
digital future. 

Thank you for considering our concerns. 

CASSANDRA (Concerned Government Information Professionals) 

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Professional Staff Member, Retired, U. S. Congress, Joint 
Committee on Printing, 4942 Walnut 1 South, K. C. MO 641 12 ber@montana.com 

Francis Buckley, Librarian Retired and Superintendent of Documents Emeritus 
POB 24388, Ft Lauderdale, Florida 33307 francisjbuckley@aol.com 

Martha Childers, Government Documents Librarian, retired, Johnson County Library, KS 
Kansas City, MO Marthachilders@hotmail.com 

Joan Goddard, Public Librarian, Retired 

1171 West Latimer Ave., Campbell, CA 95008 joan@rujo.org 

Patricia Hassan, Librarian, Retired, Johnson County Library (KS) 
23226 W. 71 Ter., Shawnee Mission, KS 66227 phassan@kc.rr.com 

Anne Heanue, ALA Washington Office, Retired 

610 Pullman Place, Alexandria, VA 22305 aheanue@comcast.net 

Murray Louis Howder, Librarian Retired 

3711 Livingston St. N. W., Washington, D. C. 20015-1737 

Jeanne Isacco, Librarian, Retired 

125 56th Ave South, St Petersburg, FL 33705 jisacco@earthlirLk.net 

James A. Jacobs, Librarian Emeritus, University of California, San Diego 
7050 Condon Drive, San Diego, CA 92122jajacobs@ucsd.edu 

James R. Jacobs, Former Chair of Depository Library Council 

Government Information Librarian, Stanford University 

544 Guerrero St #2, San Francisco, CA 941 10 jrjacobs@stanford.edu 

Melody Specht Kelly, Associate Dean Emerita, University of North Texas 
2109 Kayewood, Denton, TX 76209 Melody.Kelly@unt.edu 



Linda M. Kennedy, Librarian Emerita, University of California, Davis 
FOB 294, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497 lmkennedy@ucdavis.edu 

Barbara Kile, Librarian, Retired, Rice University Library 
5223 Jason Street, Houston TX 77096-1320 kilebar@rice.edu 

Charles R. Leacy, Associate Professor Emeritus, Georgia Institute of Technology 
54-8 Jacqueline Road, Waltham, MA 02452 Redbat22002@yahoo.com 

Candace Morgan, Librarian, Retired 

707 SW Dolph St, Portland, OR 97219 cd_df_morgan@msn.com 

Judy Myers, Professor Emerita, University of Houston Library 

251 1 County Rd 62, Rosharon, TX 77583 judy_Myers@hotmail.com 

Mary Redmond, Librarian, New York State Library, Retired 

26 Clarendon Road, Albany, New York 12203 jeremy2@doglover.com 

Patricia Reeling, Professor Emerita, School of Communications and Information, Rutgers 
23118 Shannondell Drive, Audubon, PA 19403 reeling@scils.rutgers.edu 

Suzanne Sears, Former Chair of Depository Library Council 2010-201 1 

Assistant Dean for Public Services, University of North Texas suzanne.Sears@unt.edu 

Barbara Smith, Professor Emerita, Skidmore College Library 
RD3 Box 217, 33 Loughberry Rd, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 

Maryellen Trautman, Documents Librarian, United States National Archives, Retired 
9207 Chanute Drive, Bethesda, MD 20814 lemketrautman@rcn.com 

Justine P. Veatch, Library Consultant 

714 Harrison Drive, Evans, GA 30809jamesveatchchjr07@comcast.net 

Lynn Walshak, Professor Emerita, Georgia Southern University Library 
14207 Misty Meadow, Houston, TX 77079 lwalshak@sbcglobal.net 

CC 

U. S. Congress Joint Committee on Printing 

U. S. Congress. Senate Rules Committee 

U. S. Congress Committee On House Administration 

U. S. Congress, House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on the Legislative 

Branch 

U. S. Congress Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on the Legislative 

Branch